The report notes that Bharti Airtel is giving Reliance Jio a tough fight, as the former jumped 10% in the last six months to achieve 85.6% 4G reach- thereby narrowing its gap with Jio from 22% in November to 12% now.
“If Jio is the king of 4G availability in India, then Airtel is the country’s Maharaja of download speed,” the report said, as Airtel continued to dominate the download speed rankings as in past editions of the report.
At 8.7 Mbps (megabits per second), Airtel’s download speed is 2.4 Mbps faster than rival Jio, and the company also pulled ahead of Idea, Vodafone, and BSNL by a wide margin
Airtel is also offering the most seamless video experience among its peers, as the telco jumped over five points to score 44.4 (out of 100), taking the pole position in the ‘Video Experience’ category.
However, the streaming experience offered by India’s telcos continues to be far from perfect when compared to global benchmarks. Netherlands, a leader in the category, has a score of 73%.
Opensignal’s CEO Brendan Gill told TOI that though the Jio effect is hard to ignore, the other operators have not been complacent. “Airtel’s growth, for instance, indicates more investments by the operator in developing its 4G network,” he said.
He believes price wars in the country’s unique telecom market will soon abate, giving way to stability. “When consumers pay less for services, operators cannot invest enough, and that in turn has an impact on user experience,” Gill said.
In case of upload speeds (a factor crucial for social media use), Idea dominated the category at 3 Mbps. Vodafone came second with a score of 2.6 Mbps. Jio continued its command over network latency at 62.5 milliseconds, leading rival Airtel by 13%.
While all of India’s operators improved in latency, which measures time taken for data to travel over a network, the metrics varied widely across India’s various regions, indicating network congestion.
Opensignal measured network parameters across 5.4 million devices, and analysed over 20 billion data points between December and February, both at a national level and across all 22 telecom circles.